Op-Ed Contributors

Merkel seals strategic gains

By Yu Xiang (China Daily)
Updated: 2010-07-22 07:53
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Sino-German partnership is certain to go a long way in helping to resolve key issues and aiding in global economic recovery

German Chancellor Angela Merkel's four-day visit to China, which concluded Sunday, has further consolidated bilateral ties, already robust in recent years.

During the trip, Merkel reserved high words of praise for her country's relationship with the Asian nation, saying it had entered into a new and more candid phase. In response, Premier Wen Jiabao warmly echoed Merkel's comments, saying her visit would be "historically significant" as far as the relationship was concerned.

During her stay here, Merkel not only garnered for her country some profitable economic and trade orders, but also got from China an assurance that it is committed to conducting economic and trade exchanges with Germany, promoting bilateral technological cooperation and firmly supporting a long-advocated free trade pact in their joint endeavor to further promote global economic stability and recovery.

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More important, both sides also agreed to further strengthen mutual strategic trust and set up a reliable strategic partnership in the post-crisis era.

Economic and trade cooperation remains a very important component of Sino-German relations.

Bilateral trade volume totaled 92 billion euros ($118.6 billion) in 2009, with a surplus of nearly 20 billion euros on the Chinese side.

Mechanical equipment and automobiles from Germany have long enjoyed a good reputation among Chinese consumers and is one of the largest selling categories in the Asian nation's market.

Despite an 18 percent decline in its overall export volume in 2009, Germany achieved a 7 percent increase in exports to China the same year. China is currently Germany's most important overseas market, and the latter is Beijing's largest trade partner in Europe.

Expanding economic and trade exchanges have further consolidated bilateral ties and taken it into other realms.

During Merkel's visit, a $4 billion-worth economic and trade accord was inked, covering bilateral cooperation in finance, environmental protection, culture and other areas.

By signing this pact, both countries have once again demonstrated their strong desire to expand cooperation with the other even against the backdrop of a global economic slowdown.

Cooperation and exchanges in the areas of energy conservation, environmental protection, new energy and a green economy are expected to become bright points in future bilateral ties.

China's accelerated economic transformation process will increase demand for advanced technologies from Germany and call for deepened economic and trade cooperation with Europe's largest economy.

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